|Richard Chenoweth was more or less prominent in the early history of the Falls of the
Ohio, afterwards called Louisville. He was the Sheriff of Kentucky County, Va., at the
time Clark headed the expedition from Kentucky, into Ohio, and
did severe damage to the homes of the Indians that fall of 1778. The savages never again
invaded Kentucky with as large and well organized body of warriors, though they kept up
the horrors of such warfare for about ten years.
The story goes that Clark seized a barrel of liquor, and took it away on his boat that
formed part of the expedition from Louisville. That liquor had not been paid for, when
Clark returned, and the citizen who owned the liquor got out some kind of a paper for the
sheriff to serve on General Clark. But the sheriff was too wily to try to take the general
before the court, and directed one of his deputies to serve the paper. General Clark said
he took the liquor in the public service, for the use of men defending the home of the
owner. The deputy was convinced that he could not take the General, under the
circumstances. This incident is mentioned to show that Richard Chenoweth was well known
then. Not long after the return of Clark's expedition, Chenoweth, in about 1785, became a
part owner of a fine tract of land on one of the tributaries of Floyds Fork, not far from
Col. Floyds station or fort. Jefferson County at that time had quite a number of small
forts or stations, as some of them were called. The Chenoweth's lands were on a rolling
country bordering a mall stream, not more than two miles, or three, perhaps, east of
Middletown, and some miles Northwest from Floyds Station. He built a substantial and for
that time a good sized log cabin, erected a stone spring house over the spring nearest the
house, making it a kind of fortress in case of attack by the Indians, and putting in
rafters, made a loft to it, and entered from below by a ladder, or by a window from the
outside, if one could scale the wall. He cleared considerable land, and was raising crops
the summer of 1787. A great-grandson now living, Dr. W. J. Chenoweth, of Decatur, IL.,
says: "The family had now been living at their cabin long enough to plant corn, sow
wheat and rye, build fences, and feel secure from Indians." A daughter Naomi was born
after they settled in Louisville.
Taken from Alfred Pirtle's "The Chenoweth Family Massacre", 1921
Warning: Some Web sites to which these materials provide links for
the convenience of users are not managed by the Jefferson County Public School System.
JCPS takes no responsibility for the contents of those sites. Comments, suggestions, or
error reporting about this page and its links should be sent to the webmaster - currently David Wicks, Louisville, KY.